Post-Incident Rehab and Medical Evaluation

For those of you that subscribe to The Secret List, I am sure that you noticed the loss of yet another brother, 31 years old, that passed away just shortly after leaving the scene of a structure fire. If anyone is keeping track, that makes three or four firefighters who have lost thier lives to heart attacks within hours of clearing a fire scene in the past couple months. Is this heat related, stress related, over exertion, hazardous materials possibly inhaled? Who really Knows? What i am getting at is this. My department mandates that there be an EMS unit on scene at all structure fires dedicated to the firefighters. Usually they just assist us with rehab and check out any possible injuries. Maybe we should consider taking this one step further. After speaking with an officer and a couple firefighters this weekend, a couple of us came up with the following idea. After interior crews (anyone who has been using an S.C.B.A.) have completed thier assignments and have been released from the scene, make it mandatory that they get into the EMS unit and have all vitals, including an EKG, checked for any irregularities, BEFORE being allowed to leave the scene. Will it Help? I don't know, but it definately can't hurt. I would love to hear from anyone who may have something like this in place at thier department, and any other thoughts or ideas that may help. Be Safe.

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Comment by Anthony Correia on July 29, 2011 at 1:11pm
Shawn NJ recently completed a written statewide guideline for Rehab. In a collaborative effort between fire and EMS. The above items were taken into consideration as part of developing a guideline.
Additionally my Medical Director, Dr. David Jaslow wrote an article on this very topic several years postulating on the same theory. Also read the University of Indiana's study on the effects of firefighting on the body and brain, also supports this theory.

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